Overwhelm is something that we all encounter. It can be difficult get out from under when overwhelm hits us like a tidal wave.
Our culture is so programmed to be crammed full of activity. When you become clear on your purpose- it is critical to be focused. Overwhelm of how big the work is, can come at you quite often.
So, how do you deal with everything that needs to get done?
- Break down the big project into small, manageable steps. This is easier stated than done- at least for me it is. Great ideas and seeing a clear vision on big picture is a strength on mine. The challenge that I face is breaking it down to first steps, creating a plan, and then taking action. Don’t get me wrong- I am a person of action. I tend to be a ready fire aim person- I have an idea and then I get to work- often before a plan. While this is actually a good thing, most of the time- it can lead to burnout. You eventually need to aim (aka- have a plan). If planning and organizing is a struggle for you, I highly recommend surrounding yourself with people who have this strength. These are likely the S or C personality style in the DISC profile.
- Organize your thoughts by using outlines or mind maps. As I previously stated, breaking down ideas and planning are not actually my strength. It’s ironic how I’m a coach that helps people break down their goals and create action plans. I’m really good at doing it for others- but have a challenge being objective with my own goals. This is why I have no shame in hiring coaches and working with others who can remain objective and see things I just don’t see myself.
The simplest ideas have created breakthrough results when I work with coaches. The same has happened for my own clients working with me. One of the best pieces of advice that I received was from my boyfriend when I was having the hardest time creating a structured, organized weekly workflow schedule. I needed his help in organizing a calendar. What he told me to do was to create an outline for every idea that I have. This helped me clearly write down my ideas in a very structured and organized manner. I never bothered writing an outline before because I thought it just wasted time. Quite the contrary- Outlines save so much time! I write an outline for just about everything.
- My daily to-do list is written in outline form, and then numbered according to priority.
- My tasks written to my team members are written in outline form. This helps them catch all the details and ensures that the task is done correctly.
- My book is written in an outline. Confession- I wrote half this book with no outline. Then I confused myself with what was already written and where. An outline eliminated that confusion quickly!
- All of my programs, trainings, courses, and groups are written in outlines.
- I even outline my email and phone pitches. This makes sure you are clear, concise and easy to follow.
- Prioritize the Essential: By no means have I mastered this skill- but I am putting effort into making this skill set something I have mastered. The noise of every little thing to do can get very loud and very crowded in our heads.
Not only do we have a business, ministry or a demanding career to devote most of our waking hours to developing- but we have families, a social life, our health, a spouse, etc. that we need to connect with regularly in order to stay balanced in life. Laundry, dishes, exercise, kids activities, being their for a friend, volunteer activities, etc. can fill up our schedule very quickly- without accounting for our work we do 40+ hours per week!
What is a person to do? We must ask ourselves what is of utmost importance and essential to getting you to where you want to be in life. If there is something you can do today to get you closer to meeting your big goal- than that is priority. Forget the laundry, the dishes, all the emails, phone calls and requests for you time that do not fit your goal. This is very challenging to do- but is so critical to your success and well being in life.
- Delegate the rest: Learning how to delegate is extremely important. If you have it in your budget- hire a personal assistant to go grocery shopping, do the laundry, mow the lawn etc. The more tasks you can get off of your plate the better off you are. The first lesson I learned when I was building my business around my day job was the importance of outsourcing tasks. Anything that I would do that did not make me money or build a valuable relationship was delegated. That included social media management, email management, website management, publishing my podcast and blogs, etc. I would write the content- but the actual photos, SEO, taglines, links, etc were done by someone else.
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